Leigh Centurions 25 London Broncos 12
Leigh top the Kingstone Press Championship today following their third straight win of the 2015 season.
The reigning Champions boast the only 100 per cent winning record in the league and have already seen off the two sides relegated from Super League, Bradford and London.
In front of more than 4,500 fans, Centurions raced into a 20-6 lead before securing the points with a second try from Tom Armstrong just after half-time. And although London did improve in the second half, they left their fightback far too late.
Leigh coach Paul Rowley dedicated the win to Fuifui Moimoi and his nephew who was found dead aged just 22 in the United States earlier in the week.
“It took a strong character to go out there and play and our lads wanted to win for Fui,” said Rowley. “He has had a lot of love and support from his team-mates and it has been a difficult time for him.”
London’s tactics were also blasted by Rowley who accused the Broncos of wanting to slow the play down.
“A relegated Super League side came here trying to slow us down - that’s ridiculous really,” he said. “They were allowed to do it too which is disappointing. It was like playing a lower end Championship team last season. You don’t expect that from a team full of Super League and NRL experience.”
Former St Helens second rower Andrew Dixon came in for his senior debut in place of Tommy Goulden who was serving the first of a two
Leigh took the lead after eight minutes. Liam Kay made a telling break along the touchline and his inside pass found Kurt Haggerty in support to score. Martyn Ridyard added the conversion.
It was Kay who scored Centurions’ second try, finishing off a great crossfield attack where long passes from Ryan Brierley and Gregg McNally overstretched the London defence. Ridyard again added the extras.
But London stemmed the tide with a try in the 15th minute when their hooker Brad Dwyer broke impressively and gave a pass to Erjon Dollapi on his left who crashed over; Wes Naiqama kicked the conversion.
Leigh reopened a two score lead in the 21st minute. Armstrong chimed into the attack with perfect timing after slick combination play between Brierley and Ridyard again in centre field.
And with 10 minutes of the half remaining, the try of the game. Ridyard deceived the London defence by shaping to kick deep but instead chipped over. He regathered the ball and then kicked to the corner for the onrushing Brierley to collect and score.
When Armstrong scored his second try just three minutes after the restart, we seemed in for another one-sided half. Armstrong raced home from half-way after taking a sublime pass in the tackle from Sam Barlow. Ridyard couldn’t convert but Leigh led 24-6.
London picked up from this point though their scoring opportunities were limited by some determined Leigh defence and handling errors.
Centurions continued to pose a threat with ball in hand and there were some special moments from Gregg McNally, Kay and Moimoi but no end product.
With eight minutes remaining, London scored their second try through former Warrington winger Rhys Williams, Naiqama adding the conversion.
But Leigh had the last word - Ridyard dropping a goal seconds before the final hooter.
Leigh: McNally, Pownall, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Moimoi, Beswick, Wilkes, Dixon, Haggerty, Emmitt. Subs: Penkywicz, Walker, Hopkins, Barlow
Tries: Haggerty, Kay, Armstrong 2, Brierley
Goals: Ridyard 2/5 + 1DG
London: Mathers, Williams, Farrar, Naiqama, Hellewell, Sammut, Gilmore, Dollapi, Dwyer, Wallace, Harrison, Garside, Lovegrove. Subs: Nasso, Wickes, Everett, Macani
Tries: Doolapi, Williams
Goals: Naiqamai 2/2
Referee: George Stokes
Weather: Cold and overcast with heavy rain showers